October 25, 2012 – The natural health product sold as Tongqiao Biyan Pian and known as Pollen Allergy has been recalled after high levels of arsenic were found to be in the product. The product has received a Natural Products Number (NPN) but has since been found to contain ingredients not listed on the label.
Pollen Allergy Contains Ingredients Not Disclosed
The product has an NPN #80035736 which means it gained approval for sale in Canada. However, like so many products that come over from the Eastern part of the world, it has now been found to contain ingredients that were not listed on the label.
The ingredients found in the formula are:
- Chlorpheniramine (antihistamine)
Pollen Allergy Product Contains Arsenic
The main reason for the recall was that the product was found to contain higher than allowable levels of arsenic (yes, there are actually allowable levels of arsenic in products approved for consumption).
Arsenic can be very dangerous to your health and especially for pregnant women who may experience pre-term birth, stillbirth and miscarriage. Children and adults exposed to arsenic may experience the following symptoms:
- Stomach pain
- Muscle cramping
- Skin rash
- Numbness or tingling
- Loss of movement
Where Pollen Allergy Was Sold
This product was widely distributed across Canada by Wing Quon Enterprises Ltd., located in Richmond British Columbia. Retailers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and the Yukon were carrying the recalled item.
Health Concerns from Using Pollen Allergy
If you have used Pollen Allergy and are concerned about your health, speak with your medical practitioner. Pregnant women and children who have used this product are encouraged to see their doctor as well.
Consumers can cal Wing Quon Enterprises 1-604-273-5028 about this recall and to get more information on returning the product and getting refunds. Consumers who wish to report adverse health reactions can call Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345 after they have sought medical assistance.
Note from Tamara
When doing these recall notices I don’t often throw in my personal 2 cents, but here it is:
How did a product get approved for an NPN without full testing? I run a Natural Products Store and know the hassle some of my suppliers have faced with Health Canada because they offer a bug-spray, for example, (full of essential oils and filtered water) that has a ‘claim’ but no NPN. The process of getting an NPN is forking over some heavy cash and waiting up to several years to be approved by Health Canada.
Then you have these products coming over from Asia, one of the largest violators of putting stuff in products that a.) is not allowed in Canada and b.) not disclosing that information on the label. How are products coming over from other countries especially, allowed to get NPN’s without having their formula actually tested? Seriously?
There are so many diet and weight loss pills coming over from Asia that are recalled all the time due to ingredients that are dangerous, not allowed in Canada and not disclosed on the labels, and yet, here is one that received an NPN and made it’s way through the mainstream.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Health Canada issues these recalls and am glad the company is working to get the recalled items back and off the shelves – BUT – I am not impressed that a product was given an NPN in the first place without due diligence and procedure being followed.
In any event, if you are using or have used this product – discontinue using it and contact the company to return it.